African walnuts (botanical name - tetracarpidium conophorum) are fruits of a woody perennial climber plant, found mostly in the dense rain-forest of Africa. (some also found in India). Locally referred to as asala, ewusa/awusa (Yoruba) ekporo in the Efik dialect and ukpa in Igbo.
Description: The fruits come in a hard kernel casing which releases a whitish round nut when cracked open. The shell colour often black but can be any shade of gray.
The entire plant including leaves and roots have nutritional and medicinal properties, for which it is cultivate. The fruits (which are basically a type of nut) are the most commonly used part of the plant, significantly used for food and also to extract its oil which has a very high value especially in medicine and pharmaceutical.
The fruit has a firm and crunchy texture with no overpowering flavours. But upon drinking water after consumption, one may experience an unusual bitter taste/sensation in the mouth. This is believed to be attributed to the presence of some variants of chemical alkaloids, tannins or phytochemicals. This however has no toxicity and of no danger to human consumption.
Calories - 315kcal
Protein - 24.01
Fats - 17.39
Fibre - 5.99
Vitamins: - C, E, B6, B7, thiamin, folate
Minerals: - Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Sodium
Fatty Acids - Omega 3 & 6